Beatrice Grimshaw

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Beatrice Grimshaw (1907)

Beatrice Ethel Grimshaw (3 February 1870 – 30 June 1953) was a writer and traveller of Irish origin, for many years based in Papua New Guinea.


She was born in Cloona House[1] in Dunmurry, County Antrim, Ireland into a well-to-do family. She was educated privately, at Victoria College, Belfast, in Caen, France, then Bedford College, London and Queen's College, Belfast and never graduated,[2] though it was later claimed she had been a lecturer in Classics at Bedford Women's College.[3] Her family were members of the Church of Ireland, but she converted to Catholicism after leaving home.

She worked for various shipping companies and then as a freelance journalist in Dublin. At the height of the Bicycle Craze she contacted Richard J. Mecredy, the proprietor of the Dublin-based Irish Cyclist, expressing her interest in cycling and journalism. in 1891 she became a contributor to the magazine and two years later she became sub-editor. She then took over the magazine's sister publication, the Social Review, which she edited until 1903.[4] But she had long harboured a desire to see the Pacific, and in 1904 she was engaged by the (London) Daily Graphic to report on the Pacific islands,[2] reportedly sailing around the Pacific islands in her own cutter.[3] She was commissioned to write publicity for Cook Islands, Fiji, Niue, Samoa, and Tonga.[2] In 1907 she sailed to Papua on a commission from The Times and the Sydney Morning Herald,[2] but remained for twenty-seven years, much of the time at Rona Falls.[5][6] She became a close friend of Sir Hubert Murray and his unofficial publicist. She joined exploration parties and managed plantations, including one with her brother Ramsay.[2]

She also corresponded with Alfred Deakin- Australia's second, fifth and seventh Prime Minister regarding her work in the pacific.

In 1936, in company with brothers Ramsay and Osborne[2] she retired to Kelso, New South Wales, where she remained for the rest of her life.



She wrote some 46 books, all out of print, including:

  • Broken Away (1897)[2]
  • Vaiti of the Islands (1907) a novel
  • From Fiji to the Cannibal Islands (1907)
  • In the Strange South Seas (1908)
  • The New New Guinea (1910)
  • When the Red Gods Call (1911) her best known novel
  • The Sorcerer's Stone (1914) (ASIN: B009NNHHTM)
  • Coral Queen (1919)
  • White Savage Simon (1919)
  • Queen Vaiti New South Wales Bookstall Co. Ltd., 1920
  • The Little Red Speck (short stories) Hurst and Blackett, Ltd., Melbourne, 1922[8]
  • The Sands of Oro (1923)
  • Conn of the Coral Seas Hurst and Blackett, Ltd., Melbourne, 1922[9]
  • The Candles of Katara (1925 short stories)[10]
  • Isles of Adventure (1930) about her own travels


  • The Oxford Companion to Australian Literature (2nd ed.) Oxford University Press, Melbourne 1994


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-09-03. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Laracy, Hugh. Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 8 October 2018 – via Australian Dictionary of Biography.
  3. ^ a b "Beatrice Grimshaw". The Queenslander. 22 October 1921. p. 3. Retrieved 28 April 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ Grimshaw, Beatrice (1930). Isles of Adventure. London: Herbert Jenkins.
  5. ^ "Miss Beatrice Grimshaw". The Cairns Post. Qld. 25 June 1925. p. 4. Retrieved 29 April 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Duncan, Joyce. 2002. Ahead of Their Time: A Biographical Dictionary of Risk-taking Women, pp. 171-172. Greenwood Publishing Group.
  7. ^ "Beatrice Grimshaw". Retrieved 8 October 2018.
  8. ^ "Beatrice Grimshaw". The Queenslander. 4 March 1922. p. 3. Retrieved 28 April 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  9. ^ "Beatrice Grimshaw". The Queenslander. 29 July 1922. p. 3. Retrieved 28 April 2012 – via National Library of Australia.
  10. ^ "Beatrice Grimshaw". The Queenslander. 18 July 1925. p. 3. Retrieved 28 April 2012 – via National Library of Australia.

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